The play running at Hampstead Theatre, Wild by Mike Bartlett [London: Nick Hern Books, 2016], directed by James Macdonald and designed by Miriam Beuther, deserves to go far. Ably and intelligently performed by Caoilfhionn Dunne, Jack Farthing and John Mackay, Wild presents us with that moment of post-cognitive dissonance in a whistleblower’s life. That moment when, just possibly if he wasn’t such a man of principle, he might just wish the deed undone. But it’s too late. Much too late. It was much too late the instant, that nanosecond after the irrevocable click of the mouse. And in the case of Andrew, whose story and appearance unavoidably reminds one of Edward Snowden, he has betrayed the United States. They do not do forgiveness. They might even (deniably of course) assassinate Andrew. Unless he surrenders. That would mean, at best, the rest of his natural life in isolation in a maximum security prison; pour encourager les autres. Right now, after secret flights and a press conference somewhere in Hong Kong, he appears, at the opening of the play, to be in a nondescript hotel room, presumed to be in Moscow. But one can take nothing on trust.
There is always a period of nervous tension when one goes to see an adaptation; especially of a well-loved classic novel like Middlemarch which is being staged over the next three months at the ever-enterprising Orange Tree Theatre in Richmond. Will the adapted version convey the spirit of the original, even after making allowances for the different medium? We can all relax. Geoffrey Beevers’s Middlemarch Trilogy has got off to a tremendous start with the current production of ‘Dorothea’s Story’.